Here are a few of my favourite spreads I've come across.
The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread
This is one of the most common tarot card spreads, and it’s been in use for a very long time. Use the diagram below to place your cards in this position.
The First Card – The Querent
This card indicates the ‘person in question.’ This usually means the person asking the question. The best way is just to ask for feedback and clarity as you go through your reading.
Other interpretations for the first card
* The heart of the matter
* The querent’s general life at present
* What influences the querent
The Second Card – The Situation
This card shows the situation, potential situation, or problem.
Like any reading, keep in mind that this may not be referring to the question that your querent asked. It could refer to the question they should have asked instead!
This card will often show that there are possibilities for a solution (if it is positive) or that there are obstacles in the way (if it is negative). Challenges usually show up in this position. Since this card ‘crosses’ the first card, you can think of it as the problem that is crossing the querent, or standing as an obstacle in their situation.
Other interpretations for the second card
* What helps or hinders you
(The card in the second ‘crossing’ position is always read upright, not reversed).
The Third Card – The Foundation
This card reveals influences on the querent, usually from the distant past. This card will show the long-term choices or patterns that have brought the querent to the present situation. These are things that still affect you today, even though they happened long ago. This card can indicate negative things you need to move on from, or positive things you can draw on for support.
Other interpretations for the third card
* The root cause of the problem
* Your subconscious influences
The Fourth Card – The Recent Past
This card indicates influences that are more recent, and have lead to this situation, or to the querent asking this question today. Sometimes this card is related to the third card, but it doesn’t have to be.
The Fifth Card – Likely Immediate Outcome
This card reveals the short-term outlook for this problem or situation, generally over the next few months. It’s often called ‘the crown’ card, since it’s at the top of the cross. If things progress along their present course, this card will show the events that are likely to take place in the future.
Other interpretations for the fifth card
* The best possible outcome
* What the querent desires as the outcome
* The querent’s conscious goals and ideals
The Sixth Card – Immediate Future of the Situation
The events shown here will happen soon, and there is little that the querent can do to change them. This card shows if this situation is on hold, or if it is on its way to a resolution. Whereas the second card shows whether or not there is a solution to this situation, the sixth card shows how far along the problem is to being solved.
Other interpretations for the sixth card
* Whether this situation is on hold or resolving
* What will influence this situation in the future
The Seventh Card – True Feelings
This card reveals what the querent really feels about the situation, including how they actually want the situation to resolve. This is a good card to compare with the first card (the querent card in the centre of the cross) to see if there are any obvious conflicts. For example, if the querent seems to want one thing (reconcile with her husband) but actually, secretly wants something else (a fling with a co-worker), then the subconscious motivations will show up here.
Other interpretations for the seventh card
* The querent themselves
* How the querent is currently approaching the situation
* Advice on how to address the current challenges
The Eighth Card – Outside Influences
This card indicates what the querent’s friends and family feel about their situation. It may show that other people are in control, or that there are people who need to be consulted with the decision making.
Other interpretations for the eighth card
* The environment around this situation or the querent
* The people, events, or energy that is outside the querent’s control
The Ninth Card – Hopes & Fears
This card can be closely related to what is hidden in the eighth card. The ninth card reveals what the querent hopes and/or fears about the situation.
In the example above, your querent may hope (and fear!) that the co-worker wants a real relationship, instead of just a fling. This can sometimes be a difficult card to interpret. It helps to compare it to card three, which is the foundation card. There might be a relationship between what they hope or fear and what has led them to this point. If this card is reversed, it may be that the querent is not yet aware of how their hopes and fears are driving the situation forward.
Other interpretations for the ninth card
* The mindset of the querent
* Psychological influences on this situation
* Advice that you shouldn’t overlook
* What you need to know about this situation
The Tenth Card – The Final Outcome
This card shows the likely long-term outcome of this situation, if things stay on their present course. This card often shows what happens when you put all nine of the other cards together. Timeline-wise, I usually interpret this as a solution that occurs over the course of several months to a year. When you are reading for someone else, there is a natural human tendency to make the outcome seem positive and hopeful, even if the cards skew negative. Remember that your role as a tarot reader is to interpret what you see, not to sugar-coat the bad news just to make someone happy.